Credit: Original article can be found here
The graph below should explain it all.
From the year 2000 to 2022 exports to China increased from less than half a billion dollars to $13.28 billion. This is an increase of 3,220%. Exports to China went from 3% of the total to 29%. Without China New Zealand would likely have suffered a significant economic decline.
Exports to the rest of the world roughly doubled. Exports to our friend and ally the UK barely changed – remain less than one billion dollars. China signed a trade deal with New Zealand in 2008. The US and UK still have not. According to recent reports, 98% of New Zealand exports to China are tariff-free. That is not true for exports to the UK, US and Europe, our so-called friends.
The only country in the world that imposes sanctions on New Zealand companies is the US. Trump imposed punitive tariffs on NZ exports of steel and aluminum that have not been removed by President Biden. Trump did not go to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for a ruling on whether New Zealand was acting against the rules. He acted unilaterally.
The “rules-based international order” the US demands we support is entirely a self-determined set of rules. They are not UN rules, which the US ignores or vetoes anyway if their decisions displease them. They are not the WTO rules. They are not International Court rules because the US doesn’t recognise the court. In fact, the US has threatened to use its military to intervene and release any US citizen who is charged. They don’t even accept the rulings of the International Court of Justice which they do recognise. This court found in 1986 that the US had illegally mined Nicaragua’s harbours in 1984 during its ongoing war against that nation. So they vetoed the Court’s punishment in the UN Security Council. They are not rules from trade agreements because outside of Canada and Mexico, the US refuses to be part of them. The UN convention of the Law of the Sea was signed by the US but remains unratified by the Senate so the US is not a party to the Treaty. Yet the US claims to be upholding this law when its navy cruises up and down the coast of China which has signed and ratified the treaty. The “rule-based order” is simply whatever the US/Nato military alliance decides are the rules. The UN did not sanction the US-led wars against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria over the last two decades. Literally, millions of people have died needlessly as a consequence of these wars. No one has been liberated. Slavery is being imposed in parts of Libya today, and famine is coming back to Afghanistan which remains under US sanctions despite running away.
The US has also waged economic war by imposing economic sanctions on dozens of countries over the last few decades as well. They have also confiscated the gold deposits of Venezuela and Afghanistan. They seized the bank deposits of Russia. The globe is watching this unilateral imperial world order and is desperate to escape its bullying behavior.
The US is going to war against China because it is losing the international economic competition that previously enabled its military and economic bullying to dominate the globe. The empire is in slow decline. China’s extraordinary rise as an economic powerhouse over the past few decades means that it is now the top international trading partner for 120 countries. This has given the world the freedom to act in ways they have never before – politically and economically.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw China broker a deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran. All three nations simply ignored the US. Whatever we may think of these regimes, this will help bring peace to Yemen and the region. The world is becoming a safer and freer place because of that independence.
That is also why there is a division inside the capitalist class and their political representatives in New Zealand and Australia about being part of the US-led provocations against China. They know where their exports are going and don’t want to poke that country in the eye for no apparent sensible reason.
After being thrown out of the ANZUS military alliance for New Zealand’s anti-nuclear position, lets not keep trying to curry favour with the US empire and its military adventures. New Zealand was wrong to join the war against Afghanistan. We were wrong to join the occupation of Iraq. We were wrong to become an “observer” at Nato. And it would be foolish and dangerous to become a participant in any way with the AUKUS military provocation against China. New Zealand should be a neutral power that offers medical aid to the world not a tiny jumped-up militarised puppet of the US empire like Australia has become.